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For those of us age 50 and older, regular colon cancer screening is the key to catching and often preventing colorectal cancer.

If you have certain risk factors or family history of colon cancer, your physician here at Horizon Family Medical Group may recommend screening at a younger age.

This is colorectal cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short.” [1]

Image courtesy The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Abnormal growths, or polyps, can begin to grow along the walls of your colon or rectum. These polyps can eventually turn into cancer. Screening allows your physician to determine whether these polyps are present and whether they should be removed.

Why should I get screened?

Colorectal cancer is the second “leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It is the third most common cancer in men and women.” [2]

The good news is, you can do something about it. Take a look at the video below from Meryl Streep and the CDC:

With proper screening, colonoscopy can reduce colorectal cancer deaths by 60-70 percent. [3]

How do they screen for colorectal cancer?

Though several testing methods are available, we recommend a colonoscopy. The procedure is painless and quick–you will be sedated–and it is usually free under most insurance plans if it’s part of your preventative screening—check with your insurance carrier to be sure.

During a colonoscopy, your physician uses “a flexible lighted tube with a lens for viewing and a tool for removing tissue….the colonoscope is inserted through the anus into the rectum and the colon as air is pumped into the colon to expand it so the doctor can see the colon lining more clearly. During colonoscopy, any abnormal growths in the colon and the rectum can be removed, including growths in the upper parts of the colon…. A thorough cleansing of the entire colon is necessary before this test. Most patients receive some form of sedation during the test.” [3]

The video below shows how a colonoscopy is performed [4]:

What if I have questions?

Call us at 1-800-859-0085 to make an appointment with your physician, or email us at patient.concerns@hfmg.net. Early detection is possible. Schedule an appointment today!

Resources:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/what-is-colorectal-cancer.htm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/
  3. https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/screening-fact-sheet
  4. http://www.youandcolonoscopy.com/en-cln/home
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